Editor’s Note: Every quarter, US Club Soccer announces the most recent class of Players First-licensed clubs. In the weeks to follow, the newest clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.
Question: Why did Roadrunners SC apply for Players First licensing?
Jared Appel, Co-Director of Coaching of Roadrunners SC: Roadrunners has been a member of the Chicagoland Soccer community for 40 years, serving players from all over the western suburbs. We have always strived to give our players a first class experience and felt we met the standards of Players First licensing, at the same time we wanted the feedback if we didn't meet the standards we are trying to set.
Question: What does it mean for Roadrunners SC to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Appel: It's an honor for us to be recognized as one of three Illinois clubs to receive the Players First license, it validates the work of our coaching staff and the progress we have made in the last 10 years as a club that values people and development. It also increases our standards and pushes us forward as a leader in the soccer community. It's great because it holds us to the highest of standards. Above all else, it's great for our families and players to know that we are a nationally recognized club that has its players' interest at heart.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Appel: Most of the initiatives and programs are the games itself that do not always tell the full story of what a club is doing. Players First is a big-picture examination of our whole club from top to bottom and not just based off results, but rather a high set of standards based on our philosophies.
Question: What would you like the parents of Roadrunners SC to know about what this means to them?
Appel: Roadrunners values our players' goals and aspirations and is always going to be focused on the individuals, whether it's just a beginning player, a seasonal player, or some of our most seasoned premier players, we want all the individuals to have everything they need to make their development their own all while enjoying the game of soccer. Our coaching staff is incredible and their hard work over the years is the biggest reason why Roadrunners was able to obtain the Players First license.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.